Latin America is now one of the world’s most sought after and enticing places for fintech innovation. This has been attracting companies like Techstars, whose primary objective is to aid gifted and hard working entrepreneurs obtaining the resources and connections they need to take their ideas to the next level. Cora, which is a São Paulo based fintech which lends to small and medium sized businesses, has announced that they have recently raised about €22.6 million in their most recent Series A Round. This was led by Ribbit Capital, which is a Silicon Valley VC firm focusing heavily on global fintech innovators. Some other investors who partook in the fundraising round were Kaszek Ventures, QED Investors and Greenoaks Capital. This makes the total amount that Cora has raised since it was founded only two years ago in 2019 to about €31 million. Kaszek Ventures actually led one of Cora’s first seed rounds which resulted in approximately €8.5 million; this is one of the largest seed investments in all of Latin America.
For a startup launching only two years ago, they have surprisingly been moving very quickly and garnering a lot of respect and accolades. Last year Cora got their license approved by the Central Bank of Brazil, which is required in order to operate as a lending firm, which makes it a 403 bank. After this, Cora launched its product back in October 2020, quickly gaining over 60,000 customers and 110 employees in less than half a year. Their services go beyond just lending, as they offer customers digital bank accounts, Visa debit cards, and management tools to make working with their loans simple and easy. Customers have the ability to check invoices using their invoice manager, as well as sending and receiving money and paying bills with their company digital bank account. Part of Cora’s massive early success may be attributable to the founders Igor Sentra and Leo Mendes, as Cora is not their first venture together. Their first online payments company was actually founded together all the way back in 2005, so it’s likely that they learned a lot from that experience to perfect it before launching Cora. They were able to grow that company, MIOP, to have a 3 million customer base before selling it to Germany’s WireCard back in 2016. Cora’s early success in the digital payments sector gives hope to others looking to get into the space, as it proves that with enough determination to get into the market and gain experience, anyone can break through the fintech market in a big and impactful way.